Affordable housing projects of the government should be given the top priority while disposing of land assets of loss making Central Public Sector Enterprises, a committee headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha has said.

The committee has also suggested that such land that will be utilized for building affordable houses should be disposed of at a reserve price, which is fixed based on the circle rate of the area. The reserve price will be fixed by the land management agency appointed by the government.

The recommendation, if accepted by the Union cabinet, will give further leg-up to the sector, which got a fillip recently after the Centre increased the carpet area of houses for the middle income group eligible for interest subsidy under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

Government sources said a committee of secretaries (CoS) headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha gave these suggestions at a meeting on October 20. The CoS was reviewing the earlier guidelines of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) related to disposal of land belonging to sick CPSEs.

In the 2015 guidelines, affordable housing projects were put at the bottom of the priority list. The top priority, while disposing of such land was given to central/state government departments and PSUs

Earlier, a sub-committee headed by DPE secretary Seema Bahuguna had recommended that the first priority while disposing of such land should be given to all government flagship programs including affordable housing.

“But the CoS has recommended that instead of all flagship program, the first priority should be given to affordable housing projects under the government’s Housing for All program,” a senior government official who us privy to the developments told HT.